Summary: What happens after Inconceivable
Blame: paranoidangel42 because she keeps asking for more.
And if you missed it, there's a related story about Sarah and the Doctor during the war here: War Story
Sarah hesitated outside the door to Andred and Leela's flat. Memories of their relationship during the war flooded back to her. She and Leela had not always got along, though they had teamed up on several missions for the CIA and the High Council. Sarah suspected that Leela didn't know what to make of her. Unlike Leela, she had adapted to the political intrigues and complex social graces of the Time Lords and Leela had more than once grouped her as one of "them" rather than one of us.
It hadn't helped that Sarah and Romana had quickly become friends. Sarah herself had felt caught in the middle between Leela's frustration at the Time Lords' elaborate rituals and the Gallifreyan intolerance of offworlders. Eventually she had found a balance, but it had taken time and delicate negotiations.
The Doctor, of course, had no such reservations. While she was lost in thought, he knocked on the door. Martha leaned against the wall, watching him, her arms folded.
Rose had made her excuses and gone off somewhere with Susan. Sarah wasn't sure what they were up to but suspected it involved a surprise for the Doctor, though it might have been a disinterest in what was likely to be a rather heavily technical scientific discussion. Rose's strengths, like Jo's seemed to lie elsewhere. Sarah had been grateful for the conversation the night before, and happy to see that Rose seemed to have moved on with her life better than Sarah ever had.
She found herself wondering what Martha would think of Leela and vice versa. Odds were that Leela would have less in common with the woman who was training to be a Doctor than she did with Sarah.
Andred answered, in robes rather than his usual Guard uniform, and ushered the three of them in. "Nerissa is with Leela now. They're both looking forward to seeing Fred."
"Who wouldn't be?" The Doctor said with a grin. "She's the most adorable baby ever. Or at least that I've seen recently."
Sarah snickered. "I'm sure your baby will be just as nice. And less of a handful when it gets older."
"Oi!" The Doctor gave her a dark look.
She smiled sweetly. "You're not the only troublemaker in this family, you know. I was referring just as much to myself." She bounced the baby a little. "Oh, you're going to be getting into the worst scrapes when you're older, aren't you, Fred?"
Sarah could feel Martha's eyes on her. She supposed their casual approach to childrearing would be somewhat strange to the driven young woman. She knew the Time Lords wouldn't know what to make of it.
They followed Andred into the lounge where Leela and Nerissa were sitting. Leela jumped up from the chair and embraced the Doctor despite being heavily pregnant.
For once she wasn't wearing her customary skins. When Sarah had lived on Gallifrey, she had adopted the local dress, but Leela had persisted in wearing her old outfits. Sarah suspected that it was only her pregnancy that had forced her into robes.
Leela arched an eyebrow at Sarah, before hugging her tightly and saying, "Andred said you had a baby. May I?"
Sarah handed her Fred, and watched as she admired the baby, knowing what would come after.
She wasn't surprised when Leela turned to her and said, "You have aged. Did it take you so long to conceive her?"
The Doctor answered before Sarah had a chance to. "We were separated for a time. When we were together again, she got pregnant almost immediately." He absently wandered around the room fiddling with things. "Sarah's had a rough pregnancy, but we thought knowing about our experiences might make it easier on you."
Nerissa stood. "That's a very good thought. It's not as though we've tried something like that before. We've found some of Calla's notes, but all she had to go on was theory. Any practical information would be very helpful."
Martha smiled. "That's where I come in. I'm studying to be a doctor and I've gone over the information with the Doctor. Is there a computer we can use?" She withdrew one of the marble shaped storage devices from a pocket, and followed Nerissa over to the computer, chatting about human gestation.
Leela returned the baby and sat down again and Sarah took that as a cue to settle down in the chair that Nerissa had vacated. Once she was comfortable, she started to feed Fred.
The Doctor ambled over and straddled the arm of the chair, throwing one arm around her shoulders and kissing the top of her head. "How are you doing, Leela?"
"Well enough, Doctor. The normal trials of pregnancy, but it is better than your sterile artificial wombs."
Sarah smiled. "I hear traditional births have become a trend here. And gardening."
"They are starting to value a simpler way of life. It is a pity that it took such a tragedy for them to learn this." Leela absently stroked her belly. "I would not have liked to raise a child in their society though."
Andred sat down beside her, gently placing his hand on top of hers. "You would have, though, if the damage had not been so great. We've both wanted this baby for a long time."
"I know," the Doctor said, suddenly sliding into the chair that Sarah was already occupying. "We have too."
Sarah glared at him. "It's a good thing you're skinny in this incarnation, Doctor." But she allowed him to wrap an arm around her and snuggled against him. "It was a bit of a shock when I found out. I thought I was past this point, by human standards."
Leela looked horrified. "I am glad you were not. She is a very strong and healthy child. I hope ours fares as well."
"I'm sure it will be." Sarah said. "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?" She couldn't help asking.
"Andred knows. I do not care to. As long as it is healthy, I will be happy," Leela said thoughtfully. "I worried before you showed up."
The Doctor said, "So did we. Especially since all Sarah had was her own people's medical knowledge. It's rather primitive, compared to Gallifrey," he explained to Andred. "But I didn't think I had other options to offer her. "
Andred nodded. "I am relieved that we waited. There were plenty of medical supplies, but the physicians were busy with the wounded. And Leela felt it was her duty to help us adjust to this rougher style of living. Without her instruction, we'd be in much worse shape right now."
Martha suddenly motioned Sarah over to the desk where she and Nerissa were working, so she handed Fred to the Doctor and excused herself. Sarah wasn't surprised to find that Nerissa had some questions about the pregnancy that Martha didn't have the answers to. She and the Doctor had briefed Martha as much as they could, but they had known they couldn't cover everything. She answered Nerissa's inquiries about her work with Calla while watching the Doctor chat with Leela and Andred.
Like the Doctor, Calla had been in the habit of chattering about whatever she was working on, whether or not Sarah had understood it. By the time of Calla's death, Sarah had picked up an amazing amount of both theoretical and practical knowledge of genetics, and she was surprised at how much she could pass on to Nerissa.
After she had answered the physician's questions, they returned to the other group and the talk turned to a more general discussion of what had happened after the Doctor had left on his mission. Leela told some amusing stories of the Time Lords' first attempts to feed themselves off the land instead of from machines.
Sarah was once again surprised at how quickly the Time Lords had accepted the need to take care of themselves after the war. From what Leela said, they had dug in and accepted the burdens and difficulties of trying to rebuild their society. And it seemed to be proceeding in an orderly fashion, following the guidelines and plans she had laid out before she left, prioritising basic needs over momentary comforts.
But there was still quite a bit to be done. Sarah almost felt guilty that if she had any choice in the matter, she would be leaving soon. Having started to build a life back on Earth, she felt she couldn't abandon it now. She would come back, though. Perhaps, one day she would even stay, when her obvious lack of ageing made it impossible to stay where she was. But for now, Earth was her home and she would do whatever she had to to get back.